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Qatari PM ‘would stop al-Jazeera for a year’: Wikileaks 29 November 2010

Posted by foray in al-jazeera, al-jazeera english, Egypt, media, Mubarak, Palestinian Territories, qatar, US, الجزيرة.
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Classified US diplomatic cable 10DOHA71, one of 251,287 memos released by Wikileaks on 28 November 2010, details a conversation between US Senator John Kerry and Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad al-Thani in February 2010 in which the Qatari PM suggests his government would “would stop al-Jazeera for a year” if doing so would help deliver a lasting Middle East peace settlement.

The confidential dispatch from the US embassy in Qatar notes the Qatari PM (referred to as HBJ) declaring that Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak falsely blames al-Jazeera for Egypt’s problems. Al-Thani then apparently tells of an offer he made to Mubarak to “stop al-Jazeera for a year”.

18. (C) Qatar is worried, said HBJ, about Egypt and its
people, who are increasingly impatient.
Mubarak, continued HBJ, says Al Jazeera is the source of Egypt’s problems. This is an excuse.
HBJ had told Mubarak “we would stop Al Jazeera for a year” if he agreed in that span of time to deliver a lasting settlement for the Palestinians.
Mubarak said nothing in response, according to HBJ.

It is unclear from the dispatch if the Qatari leader’s offer is serious and the document gives no further details on the proposal.

Both representatives of the Qatari government and the al-Jazeera network have in the past publicly said that the state does not interfere in the editorial matters of the news channel.

Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber bin Muhammad al-Thani also serves as the current Qatari foreign minister, as well as holding the post of prime minister.

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The Palestinian Authority targets al-Jazeera 16 July 2009

Posted by foray in al-jazeera, al-Qadumi, arrests and expulsions, crackdown, Kaddoumi, Kaddumi, Palestinian Territories, فاروق القدومي, الجزيرة.
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The Palestinian Authority is the latest Arab government to attempt to crack down on al-Jazeera.

The Palestinian Ministry of Information says al-Jazeera’s office in Ramallah has been closed down after the broadcaster aired a programme that amounted to incitement and sedition. It added that the ministry will take the channel to court and that the suspension of all its operations in the West Bank will continue until the judiciary rules on the matter.

During its Behind the News programme on Tuesday al-Jazeera broadcast Fatah member Faruq al-Qadumi’s comments at a press conference in Jordan alleging that current Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas and other officials along with Israel had been involved in a plot to kill Yasser Arafat in 2004.  

Walid al-Omary, al-Jazeera’s local director, rejected the accusations. “We regret this decision, which harms the freedom of expression and the press in this country,” he said. 

What happens next?
History suggests the Palestinian Authority (PA) has little to gain by permanently expelling al-Jazeera’s employees, and both sides will eventually have to reach a face-saving compromise. The resolution of a previous al-Jazeera-PA spat shows how this may come about. (more…)